Towie fans devastated as Pete Wicks confirms he's taking a break from the show

The Sun Online was the first to reveal the tattooed hunk would be departing the series earlier this month.

And tonight, Pete told his current squeeze Shelby Tribble he was "going away for five weeks".

Funnily enough, that time period is exactly how long the 28-year-old will need to take part in Celebrity Island with Bear Grylls, which The Sun Online also confirmed this month.

But as Pete promised to take Shelby on a trip once he was back, Towie fans were busy asking "where is Pete going?"

Another asked: "What's Pete going away for another reality show maybe?" while a third lamented: "Why does Pete have to leave #Towie he's one of the only decent blokes!"

The fan favourite joined the show in 2015 and, despite being one of Towie’s leading characters, has decided to turn his back on it all three weeks before the series finishes in a bid to “shake off his lothario image”.

A close friend told The Sun Online: “Pete has decided it’s time to leave Towie for now.

"He’s got a lot of close friends on it, and he's in a really good place and enjoying himself and his new relationship with Shelby, but he needs some time out – he insists he will return at some point in the future though.

“He's desperate to show everyone who he really is after a tumultuous year on the show after his split from Megan McKenna and fights with Gatsby –  the only way is to move on and try new things.”

One of those things is the tough survival show hosted by Bear, 43.

Pete will be joined by the likes of Love Island babe Montana Brown and Julia Roberts' brother Eric Roberts.

Our source continued: “Celebrity Island is the complete opposite of Towie, it’s tough, it’s about survival, and it’s totally out of Pete’s comfort zone.

“He knows how hard it’ll be, but he’s completely up for the challenge and thinks it will be the perfect way to move on from what people think they know about him, and prove there’s a lot more to him than just what fans see on Towie.”

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